Building a Brand for your Business

Building a brand

So you’ve started a small business. You’ve got the bank account, created the website, and gathered your first few clients – that’s all well and good, but what comes next? Well if growing your company is part of the plan, then you need to begin creating and growing a strong and consistent brand – one that will represent your company in the marketplace, separating you from your competitors.

Brand building allows you and your business to not only separate yourself from the competition, but also shows your potential customers why you should consistently be their first choice. As you build your brand, you will begin to accumulate a large (and, hopefully, growing) group of followers/customers, who not only want what you are selling, but are also willing to be your biggest ambassadors. These followers will promote your organization and products to their friends and family, as well as posting about what you have to offer on their social media accounts, ultimately creating more traffic on your platforms.

So what are some strategies that your small business can implement to begin building and strengthening your brand?

 

  • Put your customers first: Ensure that your customers are a top priority from your very first day. From selling products that your customers want, to focusing your time and energy on customer service and satisfaction, making your customers feel like they are an integral part of your business will transform them into brand ambassadors. Remember, years ago when a customer wasn’t satisfied, they would be upset and maybe tell a few friends when they saw them. Nowadays, when customers are dissatisfied, they will post about it, spreading the message to a much larger and more vocal online community – a community that can make or break your business.
  • Use what you’ve got: Use your online tools (such as your social media) to create customer affinity. This can be done through a variety of engagement strategies, including interaction with your clients, contests, taking advantage of free local media spots, involvement in the local community, etc. Your online tools are your way to spread your voice and ensure that potential customers learn what you have to offer directly from you. This is also an excellent way to engage with new customers, showing your dedication to your community, existing customer base, and more.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate: Consistent communication! This is a basic one, but one that cannot be dismissed. Keep your customers (and potential customers) in the loop at all times; a feat which has become easier in recent years thanks to the growth and expansion of social media and online communications. Consider this: when a complaint is made on social media, instead of never hearing about it, you can see the problem right away, figure out how to fix it, and respond to the complainant before a negative image of your company can spread. This allows you to always stay on top of your business and to direct the conversation, controlling the image that customers and potential future customers have of you, your organization, and your brand.

Most importantly, you must remember that building your brand is all about understanding your customer and ensuring that your business keeps growing and evolving to meet and, when possible, exceed their expectations. However you choose to build your brand, make sure you stay true to who you are and what you want your business to be.

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